That’s the title of this article by Amy Davidson of the New Yorker. It would be difficult to deny that such an effort is underway, as Davidson shows.
The effort makes great sense. From all that appears, Ivanka Trump has influence with her father. Along with her husband, who apparently has become very influential, she is viewed as a force for moderation in the White House. Naturally, then, international elites want to flatter her. They hope she will try to remain on their good side.
The strategy is far shrewder than the approach of American leftists. They seek to demonize Ms. Trump and make her life miserable — whether it’s a loser shouting at her on an airplane (as she sits with her young children) or jerks trying to injure her business.
Here, though, is a question for Amy Davidson and the New Yorker: Have they written about, or even noted, the effort to exalt Chelsea Clinton — as, for example, through an “achievement” award from Variety and Lifetime?
Chelsea Clinton, most recently lionized on the cover of Variety, is a 37-year-old multi-millionaire. . . Judging from the evidence of her public statements, she has never had an original thought — it isn’t clear that she has had a thought at all.
In tribute to her parents, she was given a series of lucrative sinecures, producing a smattering of sophomoric videos for NBC at a salary of $600,000 a year. She later went more formally into the family business, leaving her fake job at NBC for a fake job in her parents’ fake charity. She gave interviews about how she just couldn’t get interested in money and bought a $10 million Manhattan apartment that stretches for the better part of a city block.
And, since her mother’s most recent foray into ignominious defeat, she has been inescapable: magazine covers, fawning interviews, talk of running her in New York’s 17th congressional district. The Democrats are doing their best to make Chelsea happen.
As Williamson says, the effort here isn’t to influence presidential policy; it is to inflict Chelsea on American public life. With Ivanka, the flattery is defensive — to limit the “damage” President Trump will do to left-liberalism. With Chelsea, the media is on offense. It’s not trying to butter her up (she’s already buttered). Rather, it wants to produce a new champion of left-liberalism.
I think the media is barking up the wrong tree.
JOHN adds: All true! But a few liberals are horrified at the prospect of another generation of Clintons being inflicted on us. Like the author of this piece in Vanity Fair: “Please, God, Stop Chelsea Clinton From Whatever She Is Doing.”
Chelsea, people were quietly starting to observe, had a tendency to talk a lot, and at length, not least about Chelsea. But you couldn’t interrupt, not even if you’re on TV at NBC, where she was earning $600,000 a year at the time. “When you are with Chelsea, you really need to allow her to finish,” Jay Kernis, one of Clinton’s segment producers at NBC, told Vogue. “She’s not used to being interrupted that way.”
Sounds perfect for a dating profile: I speak at length, and you really need to let me finish. I’m not used to interruptions.
What comes across with Chelsea, for lack of a gentler word, is self-regard of an unusual intensity. And the effect is stronger on paper. Unkind as it is to say, reading anything by Chelsea Clinton—tweets, interviews, books—is best compared to taking in spoonfuls of plain oatmeal that, periodically, conceal a toenail clipping.